As the 2013 NBA Playoffs continue, the New York Knicks remain one game away from advancing to the second round for the first time in 13 years.
If they defeat the Boston Celtics in Game 5 on Wednesday the Knicks won’t only advance to the next round, but could have some company doing so.
After much speculation, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said that if forward Amar’e Stoudemire is healthy, he will play in the second round.
Al Iannazzone of Newsday wrote the following:
“Amar’e Stoudemire, who had knee surgery March 11, said he could be ready in the second round. If he is, Mike Woodson said he “absolutely” will play. Woodson said he’s not worried about a disruption of the chemistry the Knicks have built in winning 19 of 21. “Not at all,” he said. “You guys worry about that. I don’t. I really don’t. He’s a big piece to our puzzle.”
Stoudemire’s original timetable of four to six weeks has long passed, but if he sticks close to an eight week recovery timetable, he would be back closer to the end of a second round series than the beginning.
But the Knicks could certainly use the frontcourt depth, so whenever he is ready, Woodson won’t hesitate to use him.
The Knicks have been forced to go to smaller lineups due to the constraints of the roster. There may come a time, especially against the Indiana Pacers (if they are the Knicks second round opponent) that going bigger may make more sense.
Right now, only Kenyon Martin has been a legitimate big man option for New York off the bench.
Stoudemire averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds, while playing 23.5 minutes per game in 29 appearances for the Knicks this season.
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